In Search of…. Like Minded Conservatives

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In late March, I took to the Twitter airwaves after hearing a Tammy Bruce interview  with Patrick Leahy who talked about Top Conservatives on Twitter.  

I could hardly wait to connect with these like-minded people who were no doubt as concerned about what was going on in our country as was I.  It didn’t take long on Twitter before it became evident that some, if not many, conservatives had boycotted the ballot box on election day.

You have got to be kidding? Why? Many felt unable to support either candidate and so did what is often done when the choices aren’t good: nothing. They took their marbles and went home. 

Last week, along came the Gallup poll, with the following excerpt:

 “Conservatives” Are Single-Largest Ideological Group

Percentage of “liberals” higher this decade than in early ’90s

by Lydia Saad

PRINCETON, NJ — Thus far in 2009, 40% of Americans interviewed in national Gallup Poll surveys describe their political views as conservative, 35% as moderate, and 21% as liberal. This represents a slight increase for conservatism in the U.S. since 2008, returning it to a level last seen in 2004. The 21% calling themselves liberal is in line with findings throughout this decade, but is up from the 1990s

Gallup Poll - Idealogical Percentages

Gallup Poll - Idealogical Percentages

Great news!  Forty percent of those polled consider themselves conservative and 35% call themselves moderate. In fact, it might not be a stretch to say that those numbers could really be represented by the 1992 numbers when we had our last Democrat president.

We now have the most far-left president ever elected, who also happens to be a Democrat.  So, for the sake of argument, I am going to say that the pool of potential voters for conservative-moderate issues ranges from 75% – 79% of people polled, certainly enough to win an election.

So, just what will it take to win an election? This brings me back to my earlier statement of people choosing to boycott the ballot box on election day.  Last week Rush Limbaugh talked about the two groups within the GOP:  the “moderate”Blue Bloods and the Conservatives, who are often characterized as the pro-life religious right. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see the problems inherent in these two characterizations.  A house divided against itself will fall. I think we saw on last election day.

Is it possible for moderates and conservatives to rally around a few core issues? Wouldn’t it be nice, or better put – isn’t it necessary, essential, ­a matter of “life and death” – that there be widespread agreement upon exactly what the conservative message is or should be? 

I’m not talking about a listening tour of the country while we shake hands and smile. I’m not talking about twelve talking points as Hannity likes to posit, or Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America. Contracts are great once the folks are gathered under the big tent, but I’m talking about a handful of non-negotiable principles that concerned and informed Americans can wrap their brains around in order to bring them back to the family.

It’s time to face the facts. There are moderates and conservatives in the GOP tent that demand to be fairly represented and they may not see eye to eye right on down the checklist.  I firmly believe we must gather around a few core principles – non-negotiable truths – for which we, as concerned Americans must stand, ideals that can be embraced by the majority of our citizens, because, according to the poll numbers, we are talking about the majority of people polled.  We can win the next elections if we can get this right.

 I’ll throw out a few to start the conversation:

Our Constitution supports limited government. As we see our government usurp power in the private sector, for example, by taking over GM, threatening to dismantle the best health care system in the world and, in the process, take control of one-fifth of our economy, handing over the census to the corrupt ACORN, and many other unbelievable examples, we recognize these maneuvers as an incredible in-your-face undisguised power grab.  

We know that lower taxation and responsible spending are good for free market and individuals.   When we see our government go on a spending spree historical for its sheer unfathomable size, in numbers too large for most of us to wrestle with, as we watch Congress float one trial tax balloon after another looking for new ways to squeeze tax dollars out of middle America, as we watch money being printed and borrowed to support unsustainable and even unwanted federal programs, we must say no.  What concerned American would object to restoring fiscal sanity to our national lives?  

Who, in these days of threatened nuclear proliferation and unchecked illegal immigration, would say no to a sound policy for national security? As we are held hostage by a two-bit dictator in North Korea who threatens to aim a long-range missile at Hawaii, I doubt this is a hard sell for most Americans.

 The conversation starting short list of non-negotiable principles:  Limited federal government, Fiscal Responsibility, National Security, both foreign and domestic

In a word, we need each other, moderates and conservatives. We cannot win the next election without large numbers of each casting ballots on election day. And that brings me to the charges by some of not having a candidate they could truly support.

I have heard claims ad nausea that John McCain is so liberal that many conservatives were unable to cast their vote for him on election day.  Senator McCain was certainly not my first choice, but was he worse than Barack Hussein Obama? And so you decided to sit out the election, and to that I say: how could you? How dare you abdicate your responsibilities in the face of such a leftist threat? You hung us out to dry when we needed you most.   How could you sit out this most crucial of elections on ideological grounds, because the candidate didn’t meet all the criteria on your extended check list? Look at the damage done, being done, could be done.  Instead of being a grown-up, instead of doing your duty and making the best of two not-so-great choices, you cut off your nose to spite our face.  We have seen the enemy and it is us.

This “rant” speaks for many and these words have weighed on my conscience. These words needed to be said. And so do these words: we have a chance to upset the present balance in Congress in 2010 and we need you, me, us. We need all of you.

We need all of us to put aside our differences and focus on the core issues that we must demand our candidates support. We can and must work to support the best candidates willing to run, and then, come election day, we cast our ballots, all of us, all of you. We choose the best of the choices, all of us, together.

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